O'Reilly logo
live online training icon Live Online training

Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) EX294 Crash Course: Red Hat Ansible Automation

Red Hat Ansible Automation

Topic: System Administration
Sander van Vugt

The RHCE exam is undergoing a major evolution. The new RHCE exam will now focus more on automation to better address automation needs for the Linux and Red Hat communities. Red Hat Certified Systems Engineer (RHCE) has established itself as one of the most appreciated Linux certifications. With the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 and the redefined focus on Managing Systems with Ansible this exam has evolved into the most important method to prove your skills as a Linux and Red Hat engineer. In this crash course candidates will learn all that is needed to pass the newly-updated RHCE exam.

What you'll learn-and how you can apply it

  • Setting up Ansible
  • Using Ad Hoc Commands
  • Getting Started with Playbook
  • Working with Variables and Facts
  • Managing Task Control
  • Working with Templates
  • Managing Ansible Roles
  • Managing Ansible in Large Environments
  • Troubleshooting Ansible
  • Managing Software with Ansible
  • Managing Users
  • Managing Processes and Tasks
  • Managing Storage
  • Managing Networking
  • Sample Exam

This training course is for you because...

  • This training provides candidates with skills that are required for passing the RHCE exam
  • In this training you'll learn how to work with Ansible--in-depth and with lots of examples


  • Course participants should have working knowledge of Linux.
  • It is recommended to have Linux knowledge at RHCSA level, but this is not required.

Materials, downloads, or Supplemental Content needed in advance

To work through the labs in this course, the participant needs to install a simple lab environment. Before start of the course, the participants needs to install 3 virtual machines, using the "Minimal Setup" installation pattern and either RHEL 8 or Centos 8. Name the machines as follows. The listed IP addresses are suggested IP addresses, make sure they meet your configuration and change accordingly if needed. Also ensure that all virtual machines have Internet access:

  • control.example.com, IP address
  • ansible1.example.com, IP address
  • ansible2.example.com, IP address

Also ensure that on all machines a user with the name ansible exists. No further setup is required.


Common Misunderstandings

  • Many people think that Linux servers can be managed manually. Given the large-scale environments where Linux currently is used, this is no longer the case
  • Many people think that Ansible is just one of the solutions for configuration management. It is not, Red Hat is using it throughout all their products, and major companies in IT are following, which makes Ansible the new de facto standard for configuration management.


O’Reilly Media, Pearson IT Certification, and Sander Van Vugt have no affiliation with Red Hat, Inc. The RED HAT and RHCSA trademarks are used for identification purposes only and are not intended to indicate affiliation with or approval by Red Hat, Inc.

About your instructor

  • Sander van Vugt started working with Linux in 1992. He wrote his first book about Linux in 1999, and up to date has completed 62 different books on Linux related topics, including the best selling titles like the RHCSA Complete Video Course and the Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD) Crash Course as well as many other open source platform titles. He also works as a Linux instructor, teaching on-site and on-line classes for customers around the world.


The timeframes are only estimates and may vary according to how the class is progressing

Day 1

Segment 1: Introduction (20 minutes)

  • What we are going to do, and how we are going to do it in this course

Segment 2: Setting up an Ansible Managed Environment (50 minutes)

  • Installing Ansible
  • Setting up sudo and SSH
  • Setting up Inventory
  • Managing Ansible Configuration Files

Segment 3: Using Ad-Hoc Commands (30 minutes)

  • Using Ad-hoc Commands
  • Working with Modules

Segment 4: Getting Started with Playbooks Length: 40 minutes - Understanding Playbook Syntax - Testing and Running Playbooks

Segment 5: Working with Variables and Facts part 1 (50 minutes)

  • Understanding and Using Variables
  • Managing Variable Precedence

Segment 6: Day 1 Homework Lab Explanation (10 minutes)

  • Lab Explanation

Day 2

Segment 7: Day 1 Homework Lab Discussion (50 minutes)

  • Lab Walk-through

Segment 8: Working with Variables and Facts part 2 (30 minutes)

  • Using Vault
  • Using Facts

Segment 9: Using Task Control (90 minutes)

  • Using Loops and Items
  • Using Conditionals
  • Using Handlers and Blocks
  • Dealing with Failure

Segment 10: Deploying Files with Templates (30 minutes)

  • Using Jinja2 Templates
  • Using Control Structures in Jinja2

Segment 11: Day 2 Homework Lab Explanation (10 minutes)

  • Lab Explanation

Day 3

Segment 12: Day 2 Homework Lab Discussion (50 minutes)

  • Lab Walk-through

Segment 13: Using Ansible Roles (50 minutes)

  • Using Galaxy Roles
  • Creating Custom Roles
  • Managing Order of Execution

Segment 14: Using RHEL System Roles (40 minutes)

  • Using the SELinux System Role
  • Using the Timesync System Role

Segment 15: Using Ansible in Large Environments (50 minutes)

  • Ansible Project Best Practices
  • Configuring Parallelism

Segment 16: Day 3 Homework Lab Explanation (10 minutes)

  • Lab Explanation

Day 4

Segment 17: Day 3 Homework Lab Discussion (50 minutes)

  • Lab Walk-through

Segment 18: Troubleshooting Ansible (50 minutes)

  • Analyzing Errors
  • Using Modules for Troubleshooting and Testing

Segment 19: Advanced Ansible Usage Examples (70 minutes)

  • Managing Software
  • Managing Users
  • Managing Storage
  • Managing Networking

Segment 20: Exam Tips and Q&A (30 minutes)

  • Exam Tips
  • Q&A